Seeds of Hope
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2011-05-20 01:55 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
What do you need to create a green revolution in Africa? Women and fertilizer Walk through countless1 small villages in sub-Saharan Africa, and you will find the same scene repeated again and again: women bent2 over double, hoeing scrawny(骨瘦如柴的) plants in dirt packed so hard it's tough to imagine anything ever growing in it. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent over the past half-century trying to do something about the region's crushing poverty, but the situation remains3 desperate. Rural Africa is hollowing out, unable to feed itself, let alone supply food to the continent's rapidly growing megacities(大城市) . In this context, the Gates and Rockefeller foundations announced last week their plan to spend $150 million over the next five years to boost agricultural productivity on the continent. The initial investments will go to developing hardy4 seed varieties of regionally appropriate crops, creating markets for the distribution of those seeds and educating a new generation of African plant scientists. It's a back-to-basics approach that avoids gambling5 on shortcuts6. But to be successful the new initiative--dubbed(被称为) the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa--will very soon have to address two equally pressing issues: the need for widespread use of chemical fertilizers to replenish7(补充) exhausted8 soil and some sort of system to ensure greater participation9 of women--who perform the bulk of the work on Africa's farms. Action is urgently needed. More than 80% of African soil is seriously degraded, and in many areas it is on the verge10 of permanent failure. For centuries, farmers survived by clearing new land for each season's plantings and allowing old fields to lie fallow and replenish their nutrients11. But the continent's fourfold increase in population since the 1950s has forced farmers to grow crop after crop on the same fields, draining them of all nourishment12. Do that for a long enough time, and the physical nature of the soil changes. It becomes so tightly compacted that it can't hold water or let roots spread. "Eventually you get to the point where even weeds won't grow," says Gary Toenniessen, director of food security at the Rockefeller Foundation. "Just adding fertilizer back doesn't help. You actually have to replace the soil." The loss of productive land has driven farmers to clear ever more marginal(边缘的) areas, including forests and hillsides, for agriculture. Fertilizer has a bad reputation among environmentalists in the West because pollution from runoff can be such a problem. But replenishing Africa's soil before it's too late--and thus decreasing the amount of land that has to be dedicated13 to agriculture--is probably one of the most practical ways of protecting wildlife habitats and reducing erosion. And new micro-dosing techniques, in which a capful of fertilizer is applied14 to the roots of a plant, minimize the flow of chemicals into rivers and streams. Many African countries that used to subsidize fertilizers stopped under pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary15 Fund, forcing farmers to return to subsistence practices. Today farmers in sub-Saharan Africa use about 7 lbs. of fertilizer per acre, compared with 75 lbs. in South America, 87 lbs. in North America and 91 lbs. in South Asia.


1 countless 7vqz9L     
  1. In the war countless innocent people lost their lives.在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
  2. I've told you countless times.我已经告诉你无数遍了。
2 bent QQ8yD     
  1. He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  2. We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
3 remains 1kMzTy     
  1. He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  2. The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
4 hardy EenxM     
  1. The kind of plant is a hardy annual.这种植物是耐寒的一年生植物。
  2. He is a hardy person.他是一个能吃苦耐劳的人。
5 gambling ch4xH     
  1. They have won a lot of money through gambling.他们赌博赢了很多钱。
  2. The men have been gambling away all night.那些人赌了整整一夜。
6 shortcuts ebf87251d092a6de9c12cc3e85c1707a     
n.捷径( shortcut的名词复数 );近路;快捷办法;被切短的东西(尤指烟草)
  1. In other words, experts want shortcuts to everything. 换句话说,专家需要所有的快捷方式。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  2. Offer shortcuts from the Help menu. 在帮助菜单中提供快捷方式。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
7 replenish kCAyV     
  1. I always replenish my food supply before it is depleted.我总是在我的食物吃完之前加以补充。
  2. We have to import an extra 4 million tons of wheat to replenish our reserves.我们不得不额外进口四百万吨小麦以补充我们的储备。
8 exhausted 7taz4r     
  1. It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  2. Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
9 participation KS9zu     
  1. Some of the magic tricks called for audience participation.有些魔术要求有观众的参与。
  2. The scheme aims to encourage increased participation in sporting activities.这个方案旨在鼓励大众更多地参与体育活动。
10 verge gUtzQ     
  1. The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  2. She was on the verge of bursting into tears.她快要哭出来了。
11 nutrients 6a1e1ed248a3ac49744c39cc962fb607     
n.(食品或化学品)营养物,营养品( nutrient的名词复数 )
  1. a lack of essential nutrients 基本营养的缺乏
  2. Nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. 营养素被吸收进血液。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 nourishment Ovvyi     
  1. Lack of proper nourishment reduces their power to resist disease.营养不良降低了他们抵抗疾病的能力。
  2. He ventured that plants draw part of their nourishment from the air.他大胆提出植物从空气中吸收部分养分的观点。
13 dedicated duHzy2     
  1. He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  2. His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
14 applied Tz2zXA     
  1. She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  2. This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
15 monetary pEkxb     
  1. The monetary system of some countries used to be based on gold.过去有些国家的货币制度是金本位制的。
  2. Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means.荒凉地区的教育不是钱财问题。
TAG标签: Africa food fertilizer